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For the past nine years, Ángel Gurría has presided over the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as its fifth secretary-general. But Gurría’s early career was remarkable in its own right—the man who served as the principal architect of Mexican economic stabilization, cutting the nation’s bloated government spending six times when he served as Minister of Finance and Public Credit under the administration of President Ernesto Zedillo. That followed a term as Minister of Foreign Affairs when he restructured his nation’s foreign debt and helped negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), still the prototype for such free trade pacts. Trained as an economist, comfortable in six languages, and specializing in economic development, Gurría has been a vocal advocate, during his two terms at the helm of the OECD, for sustainable growth and employment and rising living standards. From his...

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